Help! Buying a PC and really need help

By jamz9
Sep 28, 2006
Topic Status:
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  1. Hi. First of all I have no idea if im allowed to post this and am almost certain this is the wrong forum. I am no way a PC geek but I understand the basics of computing (i.e. RAM and hard drive) I am purchasing a new PC and heard dell where quite good so I found this

    PROCESSOR Intel® Pentium® D 805 Dual Core Processor (2.66GHz, 533MHz fsb, 2x1MB cache)
    OPERATING SYSTEM Genuine Windows® XP Home Edition (Does not include Operating System Re-installation CD) edit
    SUPPORT SERVICES Collect & Return, 1 Year Service only edit
    MEMORY 1024MB Dual Channel DDR2 533MHz [2x512] Memory edit
    HARD DRIVE 160GB (7200rpm) Serial ATA Hard Drive with 8MB DataBurst™ cache edit
    OPTICAL DRIVE(S) 16X DVD+/-RW Drive edit
    GRAPHICS CARD 256MB nVidia GeForce 7300 Turbocache graphics card edit
    MONITOR Dell™ 19" Value Flat Panel (E196FP) edit
    Accessories
    SOUND CARDS Integrated Audio with Dolby Digital 7.1 capability edit
    SPEAKERS No Speakers edit
    KEYBOARD Dell™ Black Entry Quietkey USB Keyboard - UK/Ire (QWERTY) edit
    MOUSE Dell USB 2 Button Wheel Mouse - Black edit
    FLOPPY/MEDIA DRIVES No Floppy Drive edit
    MODEMS No Modem edit

    SECURITY SOFTWARE No Security/Anti-Virus Protection edit
    MICROSOFT SOFTWARE Microsoft® Works 8 - English edit


    PRICE: £450 (No idea what in dollars)


    sorry that is straight off the dell website so it may be slightly unreadable. This is my 2nd Pc for my 14 year old son and he will be buying it with his own money so I don't want him to be ripped off. He wants for all the up and coming games that the family PC is struggling to run and all the others things teens do like browse the web. Now is this a good PC and should I go ahead and buy it for this price. If its not perfect it wont be worth buying but he does have a limited budget.

    Thanks for your time
    jamz9
  2. nickslick74

    nickslick74 Newcomer, in training Posts: 883

    Since it sounds like you may not be comfortable building your own, this Dell may not be to bad of an idea. I'm not a huge fan of pre-built computers (like Dell, HP, etc...) myself and mostly build my own.
    2 things I would change in the setup you posted. The first would be the Geforce 7300. This relies on something called 'Turbo Cache' which is a fancy way of saying that is uses some of your ram as its own, much like an itegrated motherboard vid card does. If the site lists other options, post them here and we can help you choose. The second thing I would change is the system ram. Get 2Gb if you can. Both of theses things I mentioned will allows games to be played much, much better.
  3. jamz9

    jamz9 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    It has many customizable opitions but £450 was really his budget. However after speaking to him he said he could stretch to £500 if it greatly improved the computer. I will now list options under £50 and you can decide hwo worthwhile they are

    Intel® Viiv™ Pentium® D 915 Dual Core Processor (2.80GHz, 800MHz fsb, 2x2MB cache) [add £41.13

    Intel® Pentium® D 915 Dual Core Processor (2.80GHz, 800MHz fsb, 2x2MB cache) [add £41.13

    Genuine Windows® XP Media Center Edition 2005 (Does not include Operating System Re-installation CD) [add £23.50

    250GB (7200rpm) Serial ATA Hard Drive with 8MB DataBurst™ cache [add £41.13

    16x DVD+/-RW & 16x DVD Drives £23.50

    256MB ATI Radeon X1300 Pro graphics card [add £23.50

    Dell™ 19" UltraSharp™ Digital/Analogue Flat Panel (1907FP) [add £41.13

    Integrated Sound Blaster® Audigy™ ADVANCED HD software [add £17.63

    Unfortunatly the extra GB of RAM is £100 something he is not willing to pay.

    If you could please tell me which of this would be a a worthwhile upgrade it will be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks
    jamz
  4. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Posts: 7,280   +23

    Yes I agree with nick. A GeForce 7600GT would be the perfect balance between price and performance. As he said, list the other options available for that and we'll help u decide. Also, if there are different RAM speeds available (for example, DDR2 667, DDR2 800) choose one with the highest speed, since it will provide the best performance. Also, try getting a standalone sound card if u can (like a Sound Blaster Audigy or the like) because the onboard won't cut it for games. Again, post the choices available for that too so we can help u choose.
    Otherwise, it looks like a great gaming PC. But the video card is the limiting factor so get all the info ASAP so u can get the best bang for ur buck.
  5. KingCody

    KingCody TechSpot Guru Posts: 1,568   +7

    Hi jamz,

    Dells are decent PC's if you are buying pre-built. one thing I don't like about them however is that they limit your upgrade options (such as CPU and video card) on lower models to force you to buy the more expensive models.

    the particular model you chose may not be suitable for your son's needs. any PC can browse the web, but it takes alot more to be able to play newer games.

    consider the following when configuring the PC:

    1. CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo would be the best to get, next on the list would be an AMD Athlon64 (or X2 if you want dual core), the Intel Pentium D is the lowest performing processor of the 3 and i wouldn't recommend it unless it's significantly cheaper than the other 2.

    2. Video card: the Nvidia 7300 is good for most tasks, but it's not good for gaming. it will probably play most game titles, but only at low quality settings. and it may not be able to play future games at all. the 7600GT is pretty much the lowest model that can play games at decent quality.

    within the model you chose, i think your only other option is an ATI X1300, which is about the same in terms of performance. both cards are designed for media PC and not for gaming.

    3. RAM: if it's not too much extra money than add another gig of RAM, but 1GB is probably enough for him. you can always add more RAM later on.

    4. MONITOR: i see in the specs it says "value" monitor. check the specs of the monitor and make sure that it has a response time of 8ms or less, any more will make the gameplay appear to "lag"

    and BTW, £450 is about $854 US dollars

    hope this helps, cheers :wave:
  6. jamz9

    jamz9 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Here is another dell I found. It has a better Cpu for the same price. The moniter is 8ms, as i sated befor ethe extra ram is to much. Now this video card may or may not be better but it can be upgraded to this 256MB ATI Radeon® X1300 Pro PCI Express graphics card for £23. Would this be worth it? This Pc does seem similar to the other but here we go

    PROCESSOR AMD® Athlon™ 64 Processor 3200+ edit
    OPERATING SYSTEM Genuine Windows® XP Home Edition (Does not include Operating System Re-installation CD) edit
    SUPPORT SERVICES Collect & Return, 1 Year Service only edit
    MEMORY 1GB Dual Channel DDR2 533MHz [2x512MB] Memory edit
    HARD DRIVE 160GB (7200rpm) Serial ATA Hard Drive with 8MB DataBurst™ cache edit
    OPTICAL DRIVE(S) 16 X DVD +/- RW Drive edit
    MONITOR Dell™ 17" Value Flat Panel (E177FP) edit
    GRAPHICS CARD 128MB ATI Radeon® X1300 PCI Express graphics card edit
    SPEAKERS No Speakers edit
    Accessories
    KEYBOARD Dell™ Black Entry Quietkey USB Keyboard - UK/Ire (QWERTY) edit
    MOUSE Dell USB 2 Button Wheel Mouse - Black edit
    FLOPPY/MEDIA DRIVES No Floppy Drive edit
    MODEMS No Modem edit
    Services & Software
    SECURITY SOFTWARE No Security/Anti-Virus Protection edit
    MICROSOFT SOFTWARE Microsoft® Works 8 - English edit
    NETWORK ASSISTANT 90 days trial of Network Assistant included edit
    PHOTOGRAPHY SOFTWARE No Photo Organising & Sharing Software/No Photo Editing Software

    Thanks for all the help and my son says thanks as well
    jamz
  7. agi_shi

    agi_shi Newcomer, in training Posts: 507

    Everything looks fine, both the first system and the second you posted are mostly fine.

    The ONLY thing I would change is the video card. A 7300 (especialy TurboCache ones) or a 1300 are only meant for media pcs. While most games will run, they will only be able to be playable at the lowest or low settings (or medium, but it depends on the intensity of the game).
  8. jamz9

    jamz9 Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Ok he probably will get the 2nd PC with the upgarded graphics card

    Thanks all who have helped
    jamz
  9. AMDIsTheBest010

    AMDIsTheBest010 Newcomer, in training Posts: 546

    instead, go gateway, they make much better systems in my mind than Dell. they also keep all of their tech support local, and dont outsource. and they're ultra durable mine went through a fire, and it still works. get an DX420X model, it has core 2Duo and 1GB RAM windows MCE and Nvidia GE6100

    ...AMD
  10. cfitzarl

    cfitzarl TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,520   +9

    Does an Athlon 3200 really match up with a Pentium D 805?
  11. KingCody

    KingCody TechSpot Guru Posts: 1,568   +7

    it's hard to compare a dual core CPU to a single core CPU, they each have their strengths.

    the Athlon64 3200+ will outperform the Pentium-D 805 in all single threaded applications such as gaming.

    the 805 will have an advantage when multitasking because it's a dual core processor. but it is the slowest dual core CPU you can buy.

    bottom line... since the PC will be used for gaming, the AMD Athlon64 would be the better choice in my opinion.

    :wave:
     
  12. MetalX

    MetalX TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,909

    I agree with Cody. The only redeeming feature about the Pentium D 805 is the fact that it OC's all the way up to 4.0 ghz +.
  13. F1N3ST

    F1N3ST Newcomer, in training Posts: 1,088

    Which might i add, cannot be done on manufacturers boards :(
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